Darkness By Oath – Near Death Experience

Darkness By Oath’s new album, Near Death Experience, almost suffers from an eponymous outcome by offering the first track as it is. It starts off with a creeping, brooding mid range guitar following the apt title, Into The Gloom. There is an incremental build up to an apex, then fades out.  Not IMMEDIATELY kicking into the second track, but fades out. I don’t know if this was a conscious decision, obviously it was. I just don’t see the logic in writing a minute long piece that gives itself to further expansion and you can hear the desire to just play on, but it dissipates as if it is the end of a piece. It threw me off for a bit of the second track.

The second cut, In An Obscure Eternity, sets the tone for the rest of the album. Several tracks into the album, you become well aware that these players are skilled in all their talents. There are some great riffs in these tracks driven by Tristan Iñiguez and Alain Castaño. I think some real standouts are Steams of Blood and Violent Intentions. The vocalist, Aritz Nabarro, is comfortable with screaming from his throat with a mid-range sound. He showcases a much fuller growl from deep in his gut and rounds out his range nicely.  The rhythm section consists of a solid foundation of bassist, Gorka Otero, and drummer, Asier Bilbao. Darkness By Oath is a guitar driven band, but these fellows hold their own in contributing to the sound created especially on the track, Last Emotions.

It is definitely a melodic death feast for your ears. However, a real gem on this album is the sixth track, an instrumental.  It is a piece heavy on shredding and harmony that brought a large smile to my face.  The remaining three tracks are for the most part full steam ahead and conclude with a great closer in Terror in Thousand Faces. This track contains a great solo that I replayed a quite a few times after the initial listening. I don’t often find myself rewinding solos, so kudos to Darkness By Oath!

Near Death Experience, despite a stuttering start, is enjoyable for all those fans of melodic death. The production is very clean, tight, and well thought out.


  1. Into The Gloom...
  2. In An Obscure Eternity
  3. Violent Intentions
  4. N.D.E.
  5. A Cry Of Terror (Voices From Nowhere)
  6. Instrumental
  7. Steams Of Blood
  8. Unequivocal Evil Excitement
  9. Fallen Angel Of Death
  10. Last Emotions
  11. Terror In Thousand Faces